Eric Bristow was crowned the winner of the inaugural Fantasy World Darts Championship on Sunday, securing over 80% of the votes against his former Sky Sports colleague Wayne Mardle.
Due to the lack of darting action amid the Coronavirus pandemic, we devised the Fantasy World Championship last weekend to give fans the opportunity to vote for their favourite arrowsmith, with the competition featuring a number of stars from past and present.
In similar style to last week’s Walk-On World Cup competition, the results of the competition were determined purely via social media polls and rather poignantly, on the second anniversary of his death, Bristow was crowned a comprehensive winner against Mardle – securing 81% of the 546 votes.
The ‘Crafty Cockney’ was the sport’s original trailblazer, winning five World Championship titles between 1980 and 1986. He also claimed five World Masters titles during an astonishing career, and remarkably recovered from dartitis to regain his world number one ranking in 1990.
The five-time world champion played an instrumental role in the forming of the PDC back in 1993, as one of 16 players who broke away from the British Darts Organisation. He was inducted into the PDC’s Hall of Fame in 2005, before becoming a prominent part of Sky’s darting coverage.
The Fantasy World Championship consisted of a 32-player field – including a multitude of major winners, and Bristow saw off three world champions en route to the final, kicking off his campaign with victory over two-time World Matchplay winner Rod Harrington.
The former world number one was then pitted against two-time world champion Gary Anderson in a titanic second-round tussle and he only just progressed with 51% of the vote, although he defeated Anderson’s World Cup teammate Peter Wright more convincingly to reach the semi-finals.
In the last four he was up against the doyen of Dutch darts Raymond van Barneveld, but Bristow won the battle of the five-time world champions, defying a late rally from the Barney Army to prevail with 55% of the public vote.
Mardle, fresh from his Walk-On World Cup success last week, received remarkable social media support which saw him dump out a host of big names in reaching the final, including 16-time world champion Phil Taylor – the most successful player in the sport’s history.
‘Hawaii 501’ kicked off proceedings with a comprehensive victory over 10-time women’s world champion Trina Gulliver, before dumping out ‘The Power’ in a contest which saw over 2,000 votes cast. Mardle then eased past Taylor’s Stoke-on-Trent counterpart Adrian Lewis to reach the last four.
This set up a semi-final showdown against three-time BDO world champion Glen Durrant, who received considerable support from his Teesside contingent to see off world number one Michael van Gerwen and Canadian legend John Part.
Nevertheless, despite storming into an early lead, Durrant was unable to match Mardle’s incredible support, with the Sky Sports expert enjoying a late surge following a superb social media campaign as he triumphed in a clash which featured a whopping 3,274 votes.
Many thanks to all those who participated in the competition and cast their votes. It provided much-needed entertainment in a difficult period for everyone although ultimately it was a fitting finale, as darts’ original superstar was crowned champion. You’re always in our thoughts Eric…
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Fantasy World Darts Championship – L32
Gerwyn Price bt Ted Hankey
John Lowe bt Andy Fordham
Raymond van Barneveld bt Jocky Wilson
Dennis Priestley bt Bobby George
Peter Wright bt Colin Lloyd
Martin Adams bt Peter Manley
Gary Anderson bt Rob Cross
Eric Bristow bt Rod Harrington
James Wade bt Lisa Ashton
John Part bt Fallon Sherrock
Michael van Gerwen bt Keith Deller
Glen Durrant bt Richie Burnett
Phil Taylor bt Leighton Rees
Wayne Mardle bt Trina Gulliver
Bob Anderson bt Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis bt Steve Beaton
John Lowe bt Gerwyn Price
Raymond van Barneveld bt Dennis Priestley
Peter Wright bt Martin Adams
Eric Bristow bt Gary Anderson
John Part bt James Wade
Glen Durrant bt Michael van Gerwen
Wayne Mardle bt Phil Taylor
Adrian Lewis bt Bob Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld bt John Lowe
Eric Bristow bt Peter Wright
Glen Durrant bt John Part
Wayne Mardle bt Adrian Lewis
Eric Bristow bt Raymond van Barneveld
Wayne Mardle bt Glen Durrant
Eric Bristow bt Wayne Mardle